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YANKEES IN REBEL 
PRISONS 



BY SAMUEL HARRIS 

Lale Isl Lieutenant Co. A. 5th Mich. Cavalry 



IVilh Compliments of 

SAMUEL HARRIS & CO. 

Machinists' and Manufacturers' Tools and Supplies 

114 and 116 N. Clinton St. 

Between Washington and Randolph Sts. 

CHICAGO 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

CARLI: Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois 



http://www.archive.org/details/yankeesinrebelprOOharr 



YANKEES IN REBEL 
PRISONS 



BY SAMUEL HARRIS 

Late 1st Lieutenant Co. A. 5th Mich. Cavalry 



fVilh Compliments of 

SAMUEL HARRIS & CO. 

Machinists' and Manufacturers' Tools and Supplies 

114 and 116 N. Clinton St. 

Between Washington and Randolph Sts. 

CHICAGO 




SAMUEL HARRIS 

Late First Lieutenant Company A, Fifth Michigan Cavalry 
Born September 15th. 1836 



YANKEES IN REBEL PRISONS 



I have given all the incidents of my life in Libby 
Prison in a former pamphlet, entitled, "Wliy I was not 
Hung." 

We were all moved south to Danville, Virginia. 
This was not a safe place to keep us, as we were too 
near General Grant and his army. After a stop of 
about ten days, we were sent by railroad to Augusta, 
Georgia. We were kept in the cars about twenty- 
four hours. It was said the citizens would not allow 
us to stay there for fear the Yanks would contaminate 
the air. We were sent on to Macon, Georgia. Here 
we were quartered in the State Fair Grounds. There 
were two old bildings on the grounds in which they 
put the wounded, sick and the older officers. I was 
placed in one corner of the larger building, on account 
of my wound, and I also had a bad case of diarrhoea. 
Soon after I was laid down a very pleasant rebel 
sergeant came by and I called to him. He asked me 
what he could do for me. I told him I wanted three 



or four pounds of wheat flour, that I had a bad case 
of diarrhoea, and if I could get some flour, I could 
cure myself. He said ''If I can possibly get some, you 
shall have it." Soon he came back with several pounds. 
Coming near me, he looked all about to see that no 
rebels could see him, laid it down by my side. I of- 
fered him a ten dollar Confederate bill. He said, 
"No, you will need it." 

That man had a big heart in him. If he has passed 
on to the next world, I feel sure that he is in Heaven. 

The Lord said, Matthew 25 136, "I was sick and 
ye visited me, I was in prison and ye came over to 
me." 

The flour cured me, at least I lived, and the only 
one out of about a dozen that had the same disease. 

The first two men that had command of the camp 
were very poor specimens of manhood. Then came 
quite a young man, Lieutenant Davis, a fine young 
man. He was with us only a short time. He left to 
become a spy for General Hood. He was soon caught 
and hanged. 

A number of the old prisoners at Macon, Georgia, 
and who had been exchanged with me, tried our best 
to save him, but failed. The next officer in command 
of us was Colonel Gibbs of North Carolina, who was 
a good soldier and a gentleman. There were about 
3,000 officers in this prison. The enlisted men were 
confined at Andersonville, Georgia. Soon there were 
new prisoners brought in. As soon as the gates 



opened, the boys near by would yell, "Fresh Fish." 
Then there would be a grand rush for the gate. The 
new prisoners would think they were among a lot of 
wild Indians. The most of us were unshaved, with 
long hair and half naked. 

One day Captain Green, the Adjutant-General of 
General Custer was brought in. He was woebegone 
and hungry. I cooked him some corn cakes, without 
salt or rising, and took them to him on an old rusty 
piece of stovepipe — the only plate I had. He burst 
out crying and asked me if it had come to that. I 
told him he was lucky to get that. He soon got us'd 
to the rations, which consisted of a quart of corn 
meal, ground, corn cob and all, two ounces of bacon, 
that was more maggots than bacon and 2 tablespoon- 
fuls of burnt sorghum. 

One day I was frying my bacon on an old piece of 
rusty iron, when out comes a big maggot about one- 
half inch long and one-eighth in diameter. He curled 
up and jumped nearly four inches high. I hollered 
as loud as I could that I had a maggot that could jump 
the highest of anyone in camp. In almost no time 
a big crowd gathered about me to see it — anything 
for a little fun. 

After cooking the bacon on one side, we would 
scrape the maggots off the top and turn it over, 
when done, we would eat it, maggots and all, with a 
good relish. Talk about roast turkey now, it don't 



taste half as good as that bacon did then when we 
were hungry. 

Among us were men in every walk in life. We had 
a fine quartette of singers who entertained us with 
fine singing. A thousand or more voices would join 
in the chorus. There were also several very fine play- 
ers on stringed instruments who used to give us very 
fine music. Several fine orators were with us. We 
called them out on July 4th, 1864, which we spent in 
Macon. These speeches were no rehash of some old 
brokendown politician. One of our officers pulled out 
from his shirt bosom, a beautiful American flag, made 
of blue silk, with the stars and stripes handsomely 
worked in colored silk. He said a young lady gave 
it to him, as they were marching the prisoners through 
a village. The flag was about 6x12 inches. When 
the officer unfurled it there was a deafening shout 
and a big rush to see it. The guards thought we were 
going to break camp. Colonel Gibbs came in to see 
what all the cheering was about. We told him it was 
our regular July 4th celebration. He turned on his 
heel and walked out. 

Expert penmen among us used to make good imi- 
tations of greenbacks and pass them ofl on men that 
were allowed to come in to sell to us and to the 
guards for tobacco. 

The rebels furnished us with brush brooms so we 
could sweep up the grounds. We would sweep up 



the dirt in large piles. They would send in a cart 
and mule with a negro astride and a guard with each 
cart to keep the driver from talking to any Yank, but 
we were too cunning for them. We would interest 
the guard showing him some trinkets we had cut out 
of wood or bone, while some Yank would tell the 
darkey to bring in some elder about ^ of an inch in 
diameter. We would cut it about 18 inches long and 
punch the pitch out. Some Yankee officer would want 
to escape, the cart would be backed up to a big pile of 
dirt, a half dozen officers would get around the pile 
and throw dirt in each others faces and raise such a 
dust, no one could see what was going on. During 
this the officer who wanted to escape would crawl into 
the cart, putting the elder in his mouth so he could 
breathe. Others would shovel the cart full to the brim. 
We would tell the driver to go by some house of 
prostitution and tell the girls to go out where he 
dumped his load and get a Yankee, no matter whether 
they were white or colored girls, they would supply 
him with food and start him on the road to our lines. 
Several of our officers escaped in this way and more 
would have been able to had it not been that a foolish 
young officer Avent out and was soon captured. He 
bragged how he escaped. 

After being confined in Macon about two months, 
we were divided into three squads of about eight 
hundred each. I was put in squad number one, which 



was sent to Savannah, Georgia. The other two squads 
were sent to Charleston, South Carolina. 

On our way to Savannah our train had to lay on a 
siding some time, waiting for another train to pass. 

While here we were allowed to get out of the cars 
and walk about within a few feet of them. They 
also allowed us to buy watermelons of the darkies, 
the melons were the largest and finest I ever saw. 
The next day we arrived in Savannah and were 
marched out about two miles and put in the yard of 
the Oglethorpe or Marine Hospital. Here we were 
turned over to the command of a large company of 
men called "The Marion Guards." Each member 
was said to be a direct descendant of one of General 
Marion's men. Their ages were at least seventy years 
down to about eighteen years. 

The captain was a very pleasant looking man, fully 
seventy years old, short, thick set, with white hair. 
Soon after he took command we began to holler, "Ra- 
tions, where are our rations?" This brought the cap- 
tain very quickly into camp to find out what we meant. 
We told him we had no rations and nothing to eat 
that day. He said he would do all he could for us. 
Calling all his men together he told them our situa- 
tion and asked them, all who were not on post, to go 
home and bring all they could spare for us to eat. In 
about an hour eatables began to be brought in. Each 
one brought what they had on hand, bread, cake, pies, 

8 



preserves, pickles, etc. Thanks to the good people of 
Savannah, and especially the Marion Guards, we had 
a good supper. The next day the captain procured a 
quantity of rice and sent it to us. The captain, his 
officers and men were all good soldiers, and every one 
of them gentlemen. While they were with us not a 
gun was fired and we began to feel safe. One day 
the captain came into prison and asked if we would 
like some reading matter. We said it would be a 
great luxury to us. That evening a wagon was driven 
into prison well filled with magazines, books and 
papers. I got hold of Milton's "Paradise Lost" and 
read it through several times. They were all passed 
from one to another, and sometimes, we would get 
a good reader to read aloud, he was always sure of a 
good audience. They were with us only about a week 
when they were relieved by a part of the Second 
Georgia Regulars under the command of Major Wayne. 
This regiment had been to the front for some time 
and was sent to guard us that they might have time to 
recruit. 

Major Wayne was a very rough man. He always 
left a blue streak of profanity behind him, yet for 
all that he had a big heart in him. Without doubt 
he was a brave man, as he had been in many battles 
and bore a good name with the officers and men of 
his regiment. He procured tents for us and gave us 
more and better rations than we had before or after- 



wards while we were in prison. I asked of him the 
privilege of buying and selHng a few articles in prison, 
such as cigars, cakes, bread, writing paper, etc. He 
even brought in one of his lieutenants and directed 
him to buy such things for me at the best possible 
price. I made a few dollars in this way, which en- 
abled me to get a few things I very much needed in 
my weakened condition. 

We were kept here in prison about six weeks, when, 
very much to our regret we were taken by rail to 
Charleston, South Carolina, and put in the jail yard. 
We found that all the other prisoners we had left be- 
hind in Macon, had been brought direct to Charleston. 
We were all taken there to keep our folks from firing 
on the city from the Swamp Angel Battery. Quite a 
number of our boys thought we were going to be ex- 
changed very soon. They were much disappointed 
that we were not. 

Few shells were fired into the city during the day- 
time but as soon as it came night they would begin 
firing, and many times there would be three or four 
shells in sight at one time. Most of them were fuse 
shell and each would leave a streak of sparks behind it 
similar to a large sky-rocket. They were a beautiful 
sight. The shells were from eight to twelve inches 
in diameter and about two feet long. They were fired 
at an angle of more than twenty-two degrees. They 
would be fully one mile high before they would turn 

10 



to come down. One dark night I lay on my back 
watching them, when one looked as though it was 
coming directly at me. I jumped up and ran several 
feet, when I stopped and thought, "What a fool I am 
to try to get out of the way in so small a place." I 
looked up and saw the shell go directly over us, yet 
high up in the air. It struck over a mile beyond us. 
I went back and lay down on my side so I could not 
see them, and then went to sleep. One day several of 
us were sitting under a small locust tree in one corner 
of the yard, playing cards, when a shell came over a 
little to our left, but the fuse being cut several seconds 
too short, it exploded when it was about three hundred 
feet in the air. A piece of it about as large as two 
hands came over and cut the body of the tree off just 
above our heads. We scratched out on all fours to get 
out of the way. 

Our rations were fair and the officers and men on 
guard over us were generally kind. We were kept in 
Charleston about three weeks, when we were sent to 
Columbia, South Carolina, about the loth of October, 
1864. We were kept a few hours in a vacant lot ad- 
joining a large warehouse filled with bacon. The 
windows were open but well barred. Our boys were 
hungry and here was plenty to eat. They soon found 
sticks about six feet long and drove a nail in one end 
as a hook. They soon drew out a number of pieces of 
bacon before they were discovered. Then we were 

11 



taken to another part of the town. The next day we 
were marched out about three miles on top of a high 
hill to camp. We had no tents or shelter of any kind. 
Soon after this a cold rain and sleet storm came up 
which lasted several days. It was hard for the well 
men to stand and much more so for myself as I was 
still suffering from my wound and quite weak. About 
this time three of our officers were taken sick with 
yellow fever. Dr. LaGrone the surgeon in charge of 
the camp had a tent pitched several rods from camp 
and had the sick ones put in it. Dr. LaGrone came in 
camp to a mess of five or six of our officers and told 
them that one of their messmates was out in this tent 
sick with a bad case of yellow fever and wanted one 
of them to go and take care of him. They all refused 
to go out. Dr. LaGrone was very angry and justly so, 
as he came back by me and I asked him what was the 
trouble. He said three of our officers were outside in 
a tent very sick with yellow fever and that none of 
their messmates would go out and take care of them. 
I told him I would go on one condition, that he would 
take care of me. He said, "I will do it." He took me 
out to the tent where I found all three very low with 
the fever, all were taken with the black vomit that 
night and died next morning. We buried them under 
a tree near by. Of course, I was taken with the yel- 
low fever. Dr. LaGrone stood by me like a brother and 
carried me through all safe. Soon after this he had a 

12 



big tent put up as a Yankee Hospital with about a foot 
of straw to lay on, a luxury to me. The doctor put 
me in charge of it and also gave me the privilege of 
walking about within three miles of camp. One day 
I went over to Saluda Factory. While walking 
through the village a woman opened a door very 
slightly and asked who I was, I told her I was a real 
Yankee. She opened the door and asked me to come 
in. She sent her little girl to tell one or two other 
women to come in, saying they were all Union women. 
I had to keep the women in front of me as my pants 
had two very large holes in the nether end. I spent 
a very pleasant two hours with them. They contrib- 
uted each a little and gave me such a dinner as I had 
not ate in many a day. (About the middle of March 
1910, I went south to visit all the old prisons I was in. 
At Columbia I hired an automobile and went out to 
Camp Sorghum, then on to the site of Saluda Factory 
which General Sherman burnt, but left all the houses 
in the village. I found the one where the women 
gave me the good dinner. It looked natural except that 
the good women were not there.) 

One evening not long after this two of the "Con- 
fed" officers came to me and invited me to go over to 
the Factory to a public dance. They wanted to show 
the young people a real live Yankee. I gladly went 
with them, but did not dare to dance as that would 
rouse the envy of some of the young men and I felt 

13 



sure that each one carried a revolver and that they 
would not hesitate to shoot a "damned Yank." A few 
evenings after this the same officers came to me again 
saying that some of the young women at the factory 
had arranged for a private dance at one of their 
houses and had sent a request to bring the same Yankee 
with them. I went and had a very pleasant time 
until about ii o'clock, when half a dozen young men 
that were not invited came in and threw red pepper 
on the floor. This stopped the dancing. One of the 
young men made a very rough remark about the Yan- 
kee being there. One of the officers pulled out a big 
revolver and handed it to me saying, "Lieutenant Har- 
ris, you know how to shoot, take care of yourself." 
The young men soon left and the girls dampened the 
floor and the dancing went on. This was the last 
time I went over there as I considered it too dan- 
gerous. 

One day a big razor-back hog ran into camp. All 
the officers were after it. It was fun to see them 
jump out of the way of its big, long tusks. It was 
finally killed, cooked and eaten with a relish. Most 
of the guards could be bought to let out one of our 
men for a ten-dollar "Confed" bill. Soon Major Gris- 
wold found out there were too many prisoners missing. 
He hired a nigger hunter with a big pack of hounds. 
He had two valuable tracking hounds that were chained 
about two feet apart by their collars. The man (or 

14 



rather the "brute") would start out horseback, fol- 
lowed by a dozen other brutes or dogs, and ride around 
the camp. If any Yank had started out for freedom, 
they would strike his track and follow him to his death 
or recapture. Our boys thought this too brutal and 
planned to kill the dogs. The next dark night, three 
or four of our boys crawled out by Post Twenty. An 
hour or so aftewards one of the boys crawled out at 
Post Eighteen which was several rods to the right 
of Post Twenty, where the others had gone out, he 
kept well to the right of the others' track for about a 
mile, then turning to the left crossed their track some 
ways and came back to camp, and crawled back at 
a post to the left of the post where the others had 
gone out. In the morning the nigger hunter and the 
other brutes started out and soon struck the decoy track 
following it into camp. Our boys lay in wait. Sev- 
eral tried to catch the chain, but failed. Finally Captain 
Adams from New York, caught it and stabbed both 
dogs with a knife. They would never track another 
Yank. Major Griswold was going to punish those that 
killed the dogs. He told our Senior Colonel that he 
would not give us any rations until we gave up the 
officers. He did not send in any rations that day. The 
next day our Colonel sent to have him come in. He 
came, thinking he had starved us out and ready to give 
up the officers. Instead our Colonel told him unless 
he sent in our rations within an hour he would order 

15 



us to break camp and that if we did we would hang him 
to the first tree we came to. This scared him and 
he sent in more than we had had for a long time. This 
put an end to hunting our officers with bloodhounds. 

One pleasant afternoon I took a walk down the 
road. I soon heard a carriage coming after me, look- 
ing back I saw a two-seated carriage with a span of 
sorrel horses, a darkey driver and two young ladies in 
the back seat. The one on the right leaned out and 
motioned to me to stop. I stepped into the bushes 
that grew close to the road. They stopped close to 
me. The one near me was a beautiful woman, not 
thirty years old, the other one was a handsome girl 
hardly twenty. The elder one asked, * Who are you ?" 
I said 'T am a Yankee." She asked again, "Are you 
surely a Yankee?" I said, "Young Lady, you know 
that no Southern man could talk the way I do." They 
both laughed and said that's so. She asked if I knew 
who she was, I answered that I thought I did. She 
asked me if I knew that tomorrow was Lincoln's 
Thanksgiving Day, also whether I had anything to eat 
on such a day. I said, "Nothing but a little corn bread." 
She said, "If you will meet me here to-morrow, I will 
give you something to be thankful for." I was there 
and she came promptly on time and brought about 
half a bushel of Yankee soda biscuit with butter for 
all, several roast chickens with sauce for them. I took 
it all to the hospital and divided it with about a dozen 

16 



sick. I thanked the good woman to the best of my 
ability. We all thanked our Maker and the good woman 
that gave us so good a Thanksgiving dinner. We all 
called her an angel. (Some might call her a fallen 
angel). Few Southern women would have dared to 
have done what she did — to give a nice dinner and to 
show sympathy for the Yankees. It was a very dan- 
gerous thing to do. 

A full-blooded Old Congo negro who drove a team 
told me to lie close to the back of the tent and he 
would come and tell me all about IMassa Sherman. 
He came and lay close to the tent, scratched on it to 
let me know he was there. I raised up the tent about 
a foot and he told me all the news. About this time 
a man came up from Charleston with a big chest of 
''Confed" paper money, and offered to let any of our 
officers have $400.00 for a draft on a northern banker, 
for $100.00 in gold. I gave a draft for $100.00. 
Major Griswold would not let us keep the money, so 
I chose Dr. LaGrone to keep mine. I hoped in some 
way this money would help me out of prison — and 
it did. A few days after this an order came to send 
112 of the sick and wounded to Charleston to be ex- 
changed. I went to Dr. LaGrone and told him I 
hoped he would send me, as I was one of the worst 
wounded in camp. He told me that after my name 
was written — ''Not to be exchanged until the end of the 
war." This was news to me. I said to him ''Doctor, 

17 



I want you to do me a favor." He laughed and said, 
"I will do anything I can to help you if it won't com- 
promise me." I told him that I would not do anything 
that would hurt him. I knew that one of the guards 
had several gallons of whiskey sent to him from his 
home. It was regular Mountain Dew and would tangle 
both the head and feet very quickly. I went to the 
guard and asked him the cost of a gallon. He said, 
"$400.00." I told him to hold a gallon for me. He 
said, "I will if I get the money." I told him to come 
with me to Dr. LaGrone. I told him to give the guard 
the money he had of mine. The doctor thought there 
might be something wrong. I told him I wanted it to 
help me on the road to God's country. He said, 
''All right, go ahead." The next morning, Major Gris- 
wold and all his officers gathered at Post No. i, I 
went to the guard and got a quart of whiskey, and went 
over to where Major Griswold stood and passed him 
the bottle. He asked, "Where did you get that?" I 
told him it was all right, and referred him to Dr. 
LaGrone who stood close by. The Major took a big 
drink and passed it on to the other officers. Soon the 
bottle came back to me empty. I went to the guard and 
had it filled again and passed it to one of the officers, 
the whiskey was taking effect. The Major called out in 
a loud voice, "Where are all these Yankees that want to 
be exchanged?" There was quite a crowd of our 
officers gathered about the gate. I called out to them 

18 



to come out and a lot did come out. The Major called 
out to form in columns of twos, then told two of the 
officers to count them, one one each side. Before they 
got far down the line the Yanks would fall out and go 
around and fall in in front. The officers reported 
that there were ninety. The Major called for more 
to come out. They came quick. Another count 
proved that too many came out, or rather it proved that 
not quite enough run by the counters. A third count 
was ordered. This time they were short two or three. In 
other words, too many "Yanks" had run around. The 
Major called out to Captain Maltby, "Damn 'em, I 
guess there is one hundred and twelve of 'em, go along 
with them." During the first of the counting, Dr. 
LaGrone and Dr. Coleman came to me and whispered 
to me to keep out of the way and to keep on the other 
side of the column, that if the Major should discover 
some of the tricks he would shoot me as quick as he 
would a dog. Both the doctors could not help but see 
the tricks as they neither one had drank any of the 
whiskey. They likely thought it was none of their 
business as they were not line officers. 

Captain Maltby ordered the column to forward 
march. They started off with a quick, light step to 
Columbia and I with them. A thousand thanks to Dr. 
LaGrone and Dr. Coleman for keeping their mouths 
shut. One word from them would have ended the 
whole exchange. We marched to the freight yards in 

19 



Columbia and had to wait an hour for the train. While 
here we counted to see how many of us there was. As 
I remember there was 256 got out on an order for 112 
and a gallon of whiskey to boot, whiskey that cost me 
four hundred dollars and cheap at that, considering the 
mighty big favor it did me and one hundred and forty- 
four other officers. Among us was an officer from 
West Virginia, who said he was a boyhood chum of 
Captain Hatch who told us that he could get us all by 
him all right. The next day we arrived in Charleston. 
Captain Hatch met us at the depot and directed Captain 
Maltby to march us to a hotel to camp over night. Our 
West Virginia officer met Captain Hatch and after a 
few minutes of very pleasant conversation told Captain 
Hatch that there was double the number that he had 
sent for, and he hoped that none of us would be sent 
back. "No," says Captain Hatch, "if you had brought 
them all I would put them on board your boats off the 
harbor." Loud cheers went up when the boys heard that. 
Captain Hatch told the guards to let us go as we de- 
sired. We were likely the roughest, raggedest and most 
uncouth crowd that ever walked the streets of Charles- 
ton or any other city. The sidewalks were lined with 
white and colored folks to see the live "Yanks." Going 
down one street, a familiar voice hollered out above 
us : "Where you going boys ?" Looking up, we saw 
a face sticking out of small hole cut in the gable of 
a house. We knew he was a Yankee prisoner and 

20 



told him that we were on the road to be exchanged, 
down he came very quickly, bidding his friends good- 
bye, joined us and was exchanged. He told us that 
when we were going to the depot to take the cars for 
Columbia he fell out of the column and this family 
had secreted him and fed him all the time we were in 
Columbia. Soon we arrived at the hotel (I think 
called the City Hotel) where we were to stop over 
night. Talk about bedlam, hollering, singing and danc- 
ing until the small hours of the night when all were 
exhausted and lay down to sleep. As soon as daylight 
came some of the boys woke up and began singing 
"Home, Sweet Home." No more sleep and little to 
eat, but we cared not, for we were bound for home. 
About noon Captain Hatch came and gave the order 
for us to march down to the wharf, where we boarded 
an English blockade runner with a brutal set of Eng- 
lishmen for officers and men. Soon we were on board 
one of our large transports with "Old Glory" floating 
over us. I wish to say that Captain Hatch was the 
Rebel Assistant Commissioner of Exchange, and that 
he was a perfect gentleman with a big heart in him. 
Maybe you think I wasn't happy when I got on board 
of our boat. I cried and laughed at the same time for 
joy. 

This was the 12th day of December, 1864. I had 
been in Rebel prisons nine months and eight days, 

21 



during which time I had passed through more trials 
and escapes than is the general lot of a soldier. 

After quite a rough voyage we arrived at Annap- 
olis, Maryland. Lieutenant A. B. Isham, of the 7th 
Michigan Cavalry, now Dr. Isham, of Walnut Hills, 
Cincinnati, Ohio, who was one of our party, as soon 
as we landed he found a friend who lent him ten dol- 
lars. He soon found me and told me of his good luck, 
and said, "Harris, you helped others out of prison and 
I will help you to Washington." W^e started for the 
depot which we reached just as a train started. We 
arrived in Washington early in the evening. I went to 
the National Hotel and the first person I met in the 
lobby was the Hon. Zachariah Chandler. I extended 
my hand to him. He stepped back and very indignantly 
asked, "Who are you?" I said, "What there is left 
of me is Lieutenant Samuel Harris." He said, "I 
thought you were dead." No," I said, "here I am 
just out of a Rebel prison." He asked me if I had any 
money, I said, "Not a cent." He took me up to the 
clerk of the hotel and told him to give me $100.00 and 
to charge it to him and to see that I had a good room 
and supper. I did not wonder that Mr. Chandler was 
indignant to have such a dirty-looking ragamuffin as I 
was try to shake hands with him. I had on part of my 
old soft black hat with the top gone, part of the wide 
rim gone, and what was left of it hung down over 
my left ear. Unshaved, unwashed (I had not seen 

22 



soap for over nine months), a part of my old overcoat 
was trying to hide a piece of a sanitary commission 
undershirt. A pair of cotton pants that were six inches 
too short at hoth ends, three inches too small around, 
and tied together with a string, a pair of old number 
ten cowhide shoes, no stockings. I was a bum looking 
young man. I went to a gents' furnishing store and 
bought an undress officers suit, then to a bathroom, got 
a shave and hair cut. I did not know myself. I tele- 
graphed my family that I was alive and well and that 
I should start for home the next evening. 

The next day I went to the War Department and 
got a leave of absence for a month, drew five hundred 
dollars pay, and paying back Mr. Chandler the money 
he kindly let me have, then took the first train for 
home, where I arrived in due time. It was a glad 
meeting with my wife, father and mother who did not 
know that I was alive until they received my telegram. 

It may be interesting to know what became of the 
drafts that a large number of us signed at Columbia 
for $100.00 payable in gold for $400.00 in Confederate 
paper money. A traitorous captain (one of us) offered 
to take them to a friend of the loaner in New York. 
He was taken from prison and sent to Charleston and 
sent out to our fleet by tug under a "flag of truce," 
having all the drafts in a satchel. He was sent north 
on the first dispatch boat. He became very confidential 
with one of the officers and told him how he got out 

23 



of prison by taking the drafts to New York. The 
officer informed the captain of the boat who imme- 
diately ordered the traitorous captain to bring all the 
drafts to the deck and made him tear each one up 
and throw them overboard, so the rebel paid the $400.00 
that I gave for the gallon of whiskey. This traitorous 
captain went South as a carpetbagger and was elected 
as representative in Congress by negro votes. I was 
living in Washington after the war and soon found out 
about the captain, and told several members of congress 
about him, very soon he was a thirty-cent member. 

If you live in the North or in the South, and you 
hear any one blowing about the war, whether man or 
AV'oman old or young, quietly tell them that the war 
closed over fifty years ago. 



SAMUEL HARRIS & CO. 

Machinists' and Manufacturers' Tools and Supplies 

114 and 116 N. Clinton St. 

CHICAGO 



The henneberry company, printers, chicacio